Hornets Honor Martin in Last Home Game, Can’t Catch Pacers

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

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After 30 years broadcasting Charlotte basketball, broadcast legend Steve Martin was on the call for his last home game on Sunday as the Hornets fell to Indiana, 123-117, on Steve Martin Day at Spectrum Center. Malik Monk led the way for Charlotte with 22 points off the bench and nearly helped the Hornets erase a 20-point deficit before falling to the Pacers. Charlotte will close their 2017-18 NBA campaign on Tuesday in Indiana as Martin calls his final game.

Turning Point
In a classy move by both the Hornets organization and Fox Sports Southeast, radio broadcaster Steve Martin swapped spots with TV announcer Eric Collins to start the third quarter in Martin’s final home game calling Charlotte basketball. Trailing 72-57 less than one minute into the third, the Hornets instantly responded with Martin on the mic, putting together a 13-0 run to pull within 72-70. Unfortunately for the Hornets, as quickly as they had got back into this one, they were out of it again as the Pacers countered Charlotte’s run with a 21-7 roll of their own in a six-minute stretch late in the third to put them up 93-77. Turnovers doomed the Hornets in that span as seven Charlotte miscues led to 10 Pacers points and the double-digit lead. Indiana opened its advantage to 20 points - 105-85 - early in the fourth before a reserve lineup consisting of Marcus Paige, Julyan Stone, Malik Monk, Frank Kaminsky and Willy Hernangomez fought back to trim the Pacers lead to 118-114 with just over a minute remaining but could not complete the comeback.

Hornets Player of the Game
On Steve Martin Day, the Hornets honored a Charlotte legend who has broadcasted for 30 years with the Charlotte franchise and will end a career spanning 50 years when he calls his final game on Tuesday in Indiana. In his career, Martin has travelled 1,342,316 miles covering basketball, called 2,404 regular season games and 76 playoff games, called the names of 259 Hornets/Bobcats players (including two years in New Orleans) and 12 coaches during games, called games on 107 radio stations and 43 television stations, seen five franchises added to the NBA (25 in 1988 and 30 now in 2018) and called games in four countries and 36 states/provinces. With one more game until he hangs up the mic, Martin has always been one of our Players of the Game.

Pacers Player of the Game
Domantas Sabots came off the bench to score a career-high 30 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe while also bringing down eight rebounds, handing out three assists and nabbing three steals in 38 minutes.

Game Notes
Hornets rookie Malik Monk finished with a team-hight 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including 3-of-11 from three-point range. Monk has scored 20+ points in his last three outings, becoming the first Charlotte rookie to have three-straight 20+ point games since Walter Hermann had four straight in 2007 (3/30-4/4). Monk also handed out five assists, swiped two steal and only turned the ball over once for the second-consecutive game… With 10 points and 12 rebounds, Dwight Howard had his franchise-best 52nd double-double of the season… Marvin Williams finished with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. This is Williams’ third-consecutive game with at least 15 points (4/3 – 4/8). This is the second time this season he has had three-straight such games (1/12 – 1/15)… Willy Hernangomez (14), Kemba Walker (12), Jeremy Lamb (12) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (11) also scored in double digits for the Hornets.

Quote of the Night
“You know two things in life. You know when you’ve met the woman of your dreams, and then you know when to call your career over.” – Steve Martin on his impending retirement

Next Up<br
Charlotte closes the season with a 7 p.m. tip on Tuesday in Indiana. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.